audiguy
audiguy
11/12/20 4:42 p.m.

New to the forum, but not GRM.  Great magazine and lots of great info.

For many of us; its the off season and we are pondering our next 'big move'....me included.

My point in this post is to try to figure out a car's potential-excluding the driver....

Class rules, power to weight, suspension configuration, aero, torque, etc, etc are all factors that go into the equation.

I read a lot about having the 'right' car for the class, so looking for some guidance as to factors that have the greatest impact.

My car; B5 Audi A4 Quattro; runs in the NASA TT5 class-currently modified close to the limit of what TT5 rules allow.  

My fellow competitors are significantly faster; I know my capabilities have a long way to go (read I am slow), but at what point is the car's development exhausted?

Said a different way-how much faster could Randy Pobst go in my car??

Patientzero
Patientzero HalfDork
11/12/20 5:27 p.m.

I've been battling this with myself for years.  I don't really know the answer.  Have you plateaued at the tracks you go to or are you still getting faster?  Have you tried any driver coacing or race school?  Is anyone going faster than you with a similiar car/setup?

 

Personally, I never want my car to be the excuse.  Mentally I can live with someone beating me because they are a better driver but it boils my blood when I know I'm a better driver but they just have a deeper checkbook.  Look at the fastest cars in your class and build that.  It's always easier (and usually cheaper) to go down the route most traveled.

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
11/12/20 7:00 p.m.

I'm far from an expert on NASA ST classing, but IMHO most Audis do not make great track/race cars.  They're too heavy and have the weight in the wrong place.

I'm not an Audi hater, I've owned them for 20 years, but I like them as street cars.

 

 

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
11/12/20 8:14 p.m.

In reply to Patientzero :

I've been there.  Drivers with bigger "checkbooks" than me. Drive by me on the straight but in the corners they didn't know how to drive on the edge, how to slide around the corners on those skinny bias plys we were required to use.  
 They followed the lines their instructor told them, driving on the slicks those school formula cars had.  They had no idea of how to drift a car, the Chess game that racing is.  
    Growing up here in the frozen North teaches you car control at the very edge.  6 months of the year we get snow and Ice. That plus whole lakes freeze with thousands upon thousands of acres of ice.  We learn how to drive on the edge.  A little more throttle and tires set to spinning. Too much braking and suddenly you're sliding . Too much steering and you're spinning out. Conditions demand finesse.  Teach you to feel what is going on.  
 

While you Southern boys are denied that.  Ice and snow confound you as does finding the absolute edge of control and how far to push when you're wheel to wheel.  I pity you. 

LanEvo
LanEvo Dork
11/12/20 8:38 p.m.

If the question is "how much faster would Randy Pobst be in my car" the answer for just about all of us is "quite a lot."

As for being competitive ... there are two choices, depending on what your goals are. If the goal is to win races, the only rational approach is to choose your class and then pick whichever platform is the proven front-runner in that class.

If the goal is to have fun, then pick whatever platform you love (for whatever reason) and run that. Enjoy the car, but don't go in expecting to win. No point getting crazy with mods and blowing through tons of cash if you're going to be a backmarker anyway. 

imgon
imgon HalfDork
11/12/20 10:10 p.m.

If you are competing in TT and enjoy your car, forget about being competitive with others and look at racing yourself. I have been doing TTs for about 15 years, for the first few years I learned enough to place mid pack in my class most events. As I progressed I was able to podium most events and started getting very competitive and if I didn't do well, I went home disappointed and started having less fun. The past few years my car, an 87 RX 7 has become seriously outgunned in my class, now I go to see my friends, have fun with the car and try to improve my times from the previous time at that track. It has made a huge difference in my attitude and I am having fun again and still finishing on the podiu occasionally.  

TLDR; If you like your car,  go have fun with it and keep improving your driving skills by more practice or extra coaching and forget about beating the guys with bottomless bank accounts 

Patientzero
Patientzero HalfDork
11/12/20 10:36 p.m.

In reply to imgon :

Honest question.  If you're not trying to be competitive why would you spend extra money to run TT rather than just open track or HPDE?

DWNSHFT
DWNSHFT Dork
11/13/20 10:10 a.m.

Simple.  Find one of the NASA instructors that races, is fast and drives something vaguely similar to your car.  Ask them to drive a session and time it.

imgon
imgon HalfDork
11/13/20 5:01 p.m.

In reply to Patientzero :

I guess maybe I didn't  word it properly.  I still try hard and have constantly dropped my lap times over the years. But I realized that to stay competitive you have to spend big bucks. When I started my car was reasonably competitive in my class. Most of the others in my class had similar cars/ experience and got to the track 4 to 6 times a season. Fast forward a few years and as much as I have modified the car to be a full on track toy it is still ancient technology.. So I now compete against 2 -5 year old cars instead of 10-15 year old cars. Couple that with my class being stacked with instructors that are on the track more than they go home I think. I reframed what winning meant to me. As long as I improve my time,  bring most of the car home and have some fun with my friends, that was a successful weekend. I guess I was trying to convey, if you have limited funds, go out with what you have,  if you have to win, you better have deep pockets to keep up with the Jones.

docwyte
docwyte UberDork
11/14/20 10:07 a.m.

Sell the car and buy an E36 BMW.  That A4 quattro will never be competitive, it's just too heavy and too FWD biased.

NorseDave
NorseDave Reader
11/14/20 1:35 p.m.

Wouldn't you rather be the guy that's really fast, rather than the guy that has a really fast car?  I sure would (I'm neither).  Invest in yourself and drive whatever car you're in faster than anyone expects.  

frenchyd
frenchyd PowerDork
11/14/20 2:17 p.m.

In reply to audiguy :

If your planning on buying the fastest car for a given class it will get horribly expensive. It's not only the right car but also the right set up. Tires/ Tire pressures, alignment, then there are tuning issues, maybe special parts, and well cheating.  Clever people can make all sorts of changes that may not be detectable. 
 

On the other hand improvements you make to yourself won't go away. It won't matter which car you're driving either. You'll know how to get the most out of whatever you have. 

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